When Microsoft announced that its Edge browser would be revamped using Chromium, the internet’s response was generally quite positive. Edge is far from the worst browser on the planet, but it’s certainly not what we’d call a fan favorite. As such, even the slightest indication that it could be changed significantly would have been welcome news for many.
However, it would seem that “many” doesn’t include one individual in particular: Mozilla CEO Chris Beard. In a blog post published today, titled “Goodbye, EdgeHTML,” Beard expressed his frustrations with Microsoft’s decision.
“By adopting Chromium, Microsoft hands over control of even more of online life to Google,” Beard writes in the post. “This may sound melodramatic, but it’s not. The “browser engines” — Chromium from Google and Gecko Quantum from Mozilla — are “inside baseball” pieces of software that actually determine a great deal of what each of us can do online.”
Beard’s concerns aren’t unwarranted. While Chromium will almost certainly be a step up for Edge in terms of simplicity, convenience, and potentially even speed, it does hand over more of the browser tech pie to Google – a company that already has a commanding lead in the market.
“…If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium.”
In short, Beard is worried that Microsoft’s decision will push Google even closer towards absolute dominance regarding web content.
The CEO’s fears aren’t based on idealism alone. “Will Microsoft’s decision make it harder for Firefox to prosper? It could,” Beard speculates. “…If one product like Chromium has enough market share, then it becomes easier for web developers and businesses to decide not to worry if their services and sites work with anything other than Chromium.”
We’ll let you decide for yourselves how to feel about Beard’s claims — you can read his full blog post here — but for now, he’s certainly raised a few interesting points that many probably didn’t think of during their initial burst of excitement about a Chromium-powered Edge.